I just want to mention a few hidden costs/needs/items that you may need when offering transcription as a service for clients:
- Transcription –You need to think about the services you are offering clients with regards to your business needs. With transcription you will receive large files from clients and they may have to be downloaded, therefore if you have a capped bundle and use up your bundle before months end you will need to top up your bundle and this will cost you. So it might be more worth your while to get uncapped ADSL or Fibre. Large files can take up to an hour or more to upload and download, this is worth thinking about.
- Transcription is very time consuming, you must listen and concentrate, this is taking up time, you need to make sure you are paid for the time this is taking you, Costs for transcription can be dependent on different scenarios: more than one person speaking, additional background noise, language and race, bad recording, type of meeting, focus group, one on one meeting, etc, all these things and more can affect the time it takes to transcribe the file. Ask your client if you can listen to the files first to give you a better idea of what you are quoting on, listen to a few spots within the file to get a feel of what you will be involved in doing with the file. Do not quote blind.
- With transcription you must proofread your work afterwards, (you must proof every task you do, this should automatically be part of your job but many people don’t proofread their work and just send it out), you need to proof for spelling, grammar, understanding, sentence construction etc. Make sure that you allow time for this and that you let the client know that you must do this at the end of your transcription, it is not a case of just transcribing the file and then sending it back to the client. Do not do a rush job on your proofing, take the time to proof it properly and let the client know that this is part of the task that you are doing for them, they don’t know this, they have no idea what is involved, all they want is their file transcribed into a document. On your quotation or in your terms and conditions, make sure that proofreading is included as one of the steps to transcribing files; the client needs to know what they are paying you for.
- Before starting out offering transcription, make sure that you have the set up to offer this service, headphones, the right software (express scribe, file conversion software etc) foot pedal if needed, a good dictionary, internet access for research on names, places, etc.
- Download express scribe to assist you with transcribing your files (free) http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/index.html
- Know how long it will take you to transcribe the following, it makes it easier when quoting for clients as they need to know how long it takes:
One on One meeting
Meetings with a few people
Focus groups with cross talking across the room
Court Hearing using translator etc
Different types of transcription can take different lengths of time to complete, a focus group, 1 hour file may take up to 6 hours to transcribe, one person dictating their own letters (1 hour file) could take 2 or 3 hours to transcribe.
- Typing and Transcription are both different, each have their own skill sets. They are priced different, transcription is not charged per page, it is charge per hour or per audio hour, never on a page rate, it is up to you as a Transcriptionist to educate the client on this fact. If you don’t you will be grossly underpaid for providing a Transcription service, and it want be worth it for you
This is a great skill to offer clients but make sure you have the experience within the skill to offer it. Transcription is a skill on its own, it needs great listening skills and the ability to sit for hours concentrating, excellent grammar skills.
There is no standard Transcription rate, from researching this I have found everyone charges what they need to earn and everyone’s situation is different.
You either work on your hourly rate or you work on an audio hourly rate.
What is an audio hour in transcription?
If you are being paid $50 per audio hour, this means you will earn $50 for every hour of audio you transcribe. This could take from two to five hours to transcribe just one hour of audio, depending on the difficulty of the file and your transcription skills.
How long does it take to transcribe one hour of audio?
The professional industry standard is ONE hour to transcribe 15 minutes of clearly recorded speech. It takes a MINIMUM of 4 hours to transcribe a one hour audio recording and can take as much as 6 or 8 hours depending on the quality of the recording.
|Tips from Gaynor:
Gaynor Paynter, Follow me on Twitter @TypewriteSA, Email: email@example.com
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|TIPS FOR NEWBIE TRANSCRIPTIONISTS
PRODUCING HIGH QUALITY TRANSCRIPTS
By Michele Johanson
I suggest that you join a forum aimed at VAs and transcriptionists. For South Africans I would recommend TAVASA. Working from home can be a lonely experience and trying to sort out technical problems can be very daunting. By joining a forum you will be in contact with people who understand exactly what is required and can assist with questions.
Best of all, this is where the more established people post their requests for assistance with overflow work. Having secured a shot at subcontracting this overflow work bear the following in mind:
The above steps are very, very important. It is as well to remember that not only do contractors offer the jobs that will get you started as a transcriptionist but that they often recommend – or not – typists to other contractors. Shoddy work will put a halt to your career before you start. Commit to producing high quality transcription from day one.
Michele Johanson is based in Cape Town and owns Good Hope Transcription and Typing Services http://goodhopetranscription.weebly.com which offers general and legal transcription, typing, article and content writing and editing/proofreading functions. Recently we have added recording of small meetings to our profile.
|I asked two questions see below on the Tavasa forum and these are the replies to those questions. This is very useful information when starting out your business and when you set your prices/rates.
Transcription, Typing rates/prices (South Africa)
The prices used are not real rates they are just examples to explain the questions.
Answers from various members of Tavasa, thank you everyone.
The pricing I offer can be:
Join our yahoo group, online email forum ‘Tavasa’ free membership.
To join go to: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/tavasa/